10 Sep 2013

Taiwan diplomat unhappy at treatment by the Marshalls government

10:51 am on 10 September 2013

Taiwan has voiced disappointment with the Marshall Islands after its ambassador in Majuro was told to leave a venue at last week's Pacific Islands Forum summit.

George Li had gone to the lobby of the conference centre to ensure plaques proclaiming the building as a gift from Taiwan had been left uncovered.

Mr Li protested to the Marshalls government about the plaques being covered earlier in the week, presumably, he says on the insistence of the People's Republic of China.

Mr Li says a Marshall Islands official told him the PRC delegation had no longer insisted on covering the plaques.

He says he was asked to leave and did so under protest.

"This is not how you treat your dipomatic ally who already has fifteen years of friendship with the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands) since 1998. we will still cherish our relationship with the RMI and profoundly value our friendship with the government and people of the RMI. But I must say, personally and diplomatically, that those incidents during the past week were not easy to forget."

Taiwan was not officially invited to the session.

But Mr Li says he was not trying to get into the post dialogue session itself.

So we protest, naturally, saying that we were not in the conference room for the post-Forum dialogue, and we were just in the ICC (International Conference Centre) entrance hall in the building that symbolises the partnership and friendship between the ROC (Republic of China) and the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands).

Taiwan's Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, George T. K. Li